It’s a move that comes as no real surprise but the Habs are bringing back centre Tomas Plekanec on a one-year contract.
The deal will carry a base salary of $2.25 million plus a bonus of $250,000 at each of the 30, 40, and 50 games played mark. He also will receive $250,000 if he scores ten goals or gets 25 points and an extra $250,000 if Montreal makes the playoffs, bringing the total potential value to $3.5 million.
Plekanec has spent his entire NHL career with Montreal aside from a brief stint with Toronto who acquired him near the trade deadline last season in exchange for winger Kerby Rychel, defenceman Rinat Valiev, and Toronto’s second-round pick (which turned into centre Jacob Olofsson).
While he has been a dependable checker throughout his time with the Canadiens, his offence has really tapered off in recent years. He scored a career-low six goals in 2017-18 between the Habs and Leafs which is not the type of production they were hoping for from someone with a $6 million cap hit.
Although Plekanec will give Montreal some more depth down the middle, he still doesn’t address one of their top-six vacancies. It’s looking more and more like they’re planning to run with the same group of centres that they had in 2017-18 which includes Jonathan Drouin and Phillip Danault in the top-six plus Jacob de la Rose (or perhaps Byron Froese) on the fourth line.